mother’s day

For years, Mother’s Day left me in a strange place. I was a step-mother being celebrated for my contributions to my family but yearned for a child of my own at the same time. It was difficult to be appreciative and not show outward aching at the same time. When 3 came home, that all changed of course…

This weekend, we celebrated Mother’s Day and it was all lovely. Yesterday, I was showered with love and hand-made gifts from 11 & 13. They each made me mugs that were thoughtfully painted and they were both proud to tell me that I could use these mugs for my tea. I can’t wait!

Their mom took them to Michael’s to get a craft for me, which is appreciated. She has not always been so accepting and approving. Last night, when she came to pick 11 & 13 up, she texted my husband to let him know she got to the house and to have him wish me a Happy Mother’s Day. 11 & 13 left with handmade cards from an in-town printing press, flowers, and chocolate-covered strawberries in hand.

Before that, though, we went to Davio’s and had an Italian dinner (and a glass of Moscato for me). It was a delicious meal and our server complimented all three kiddos on their behavior (and their appetites).

I also was taught a new dance this weekend. I honestly wonder what the neighbors think, as there are frequent dance parties that take place in our sitting room and kitchen space. The newest dance I learned is where I catch an imaginary ball and then look like I’m tying a bow with my fists. It appears there are dramatized facial expressions as well.

All-in-all, a great weekend that led up to today. For Mother’s Day, my husband and 3 took me to brunch at one of my favorite places, Eastern Standard and surprised me with tickets to the Red Sox game! The weather in Boston was less than fantastic today, but after a Mother’s Day winter hat purchase, I was comfortable enough to make it through the game. Fortunately, my husband got us seats under the grand stand, so we stayed dry the duration of the game.

After a stunning Sox victory, we drove home, admiring the city and recapping our day. Then, we ordered pizza and cheesecake, because is there really any other way to celebrate Mother’s Day?

 

holiday menu

I love to entertain — it’s kind of funny because I’m super introverted and am exhausted by having people in my space, but I really enjoy meal planning and cooking for a crowd. Acts of Service is my love language communicated and so my parents’ visit over Christmas left me feeling stressed that I was unable to really plan and prepare adequately for their visit. (See previous post re: pneumonia, the Christmas gift that makes you miserable.)

Fortunately for me, I’m married to a good man who was able to pick up my slack. He went on a 3-hour grocery shopping trip for the holiday meal and the brunches and dinners to follow. (He was sick too, so I appreciate the effort to take one for the team.)

When our kitchen was under construction, we bought a few new cookbooks. My husband combed through Chrissy Teigan’s, Cravings and Kristin Cavallari’s True Roots. My parents were only in town for the weekend and we planned dinner at the local hibachi one night, so we really only needed three primary meals:

Brunch: CT’s cheeseless cheesy eggs with blistered tomatoes & garlicky bacon; orange juice; berries; cinnamon rolls (gluten & yeast free); and coffee/tea.

This menu was a hit! The eggs were really creamy and the heavy cream made them taste cheesy without the heaviness. The meal with a big hit with my parents, my brother, all three kids, and the two of us! Yes!

Dinner: CT’s scalloped potatoes and a vegetable tray my mom prepared. We subbed out whole milk for almond milk and the the scalloped potatoes were amazing — 5 pounds of potatoes, ham & bacon — it was definitely not the healthiest of meals but it felt fancy and it satisfied everyone’s hunger.

On Saturday, we went with KC’s breakfast sandwiches, which are a favorite lazy weekend breakfast item of ours: Ezekiel bread, prosciutto, eggs, micro-greens, avocado, tomato, and hot sauce — we devoured a dozen eggs and nearly a whole loaf of bread! We added juice, coffee/tea, and berries for a nice, well-rounded meal.

Overall, these meal ideas worked really well for our family! We balanced healthy meals with rich ones and we were all pleased with how everything turned out. Because I was still sick, my husband did most of the cooking and I was his (barely there) sous chef.

Do you have any go-to brunch items that you enjoy?

christmas

I’m not going to lie: It’s been a rough holiday season. My husband and I took 3 to see the Boston Pops Children’s Matinee — it was great! We watched a wonderful performance and then met my brother for lunch. We went home and put 3 down for his nap and we rested too — and then it hit: The sickness.

3 awoke from his nap with 103 fever and I had a wicked cough. Both he and I went to the doctor the following morning. I was told that I had a virus and it would pass; that was Monday. By Wednesday, I was diagnosed with bronchitis and Thursday’s urgent care visit left me with a pneumonia diagnosis.

Merry Christmas!

I am not a good sick person. Whatever the ‘man flu’ looks like, I guarantee that my flu looks 100% worse. I was so uncomfortable and was on SIX prescriptions, including a breathing treatment (which I am still on 3x per day and then I will be on it once a day for a month once I’m actually better). Fortunately, the medication helped with physical ailments but nothing could prepare me for the anxiety spike I’d experience.

It’s no secret that I have an anxiety disorder — I am largely able to manage it without medication because I use rest, exercise, and diet as my biggest tools for self-care. Not being able to sleep, however, really threw me for a loop. My anxiety soared and before I knew it, I was hyperventilating in the bathroom because I’d convinced myself I ruined Christmas for my family.

Anxiety is a hell of a thing. It can take the most illogical thought and convince you that it’s the glaring idea in everyone’s minds.

Fortunately, once the medication started to kick in, I was able to sleep and reset. I am still feeling sick but my mental state is more coherent than it was 10 days ago. I still feel like my Christmas was ruined because of illness, but I do recognize that nobody else’s was — we still had plenty of family time and lots of laughter.

Ultimately, the point here is that Christmas was a rough this year for me but I’m looking forward to setting goals for the new year. I have some ideas in mind and a lot of updates to wrap my mind around from the last month.

What are some of your goals for 2019?